If you were to devise a scale on which refereeing decisions against Celtic can be measured, with “that was a 50/50” at the bottom then “even Kris Boyd thinks that is a shocker” would be near the top end, the extreme end, the “I can’t believe what I just witnessed” end.
I mean, when even this professional Celtic hater can see it clearly how can anyone else have an excuse?
Butcher’s first tackle on David Turnbull today was a red card.
A straight up no bullshit red.
Beyond the least doubt.
It was violent conduct, and could have done serious damage to our player.
To give him a yellow for that is to license barbarism against our team.
Later on in the game, the ref had a chance to rectify it when Butcher committed another foul.
The second yellow was expected. It would have been a little justice, late in the day. But the cards stayed in the official’s pocket although the outcome seemed certain.
As we all know, something momentous happened last week; the head of refereeing did the rounds of the TV studios to explain a couple of decisions which had generated some controversy.
The season has been full of decisions like that, but he sought to come out of the Hampden bunker and explain these particular ones in the midst of a media firestorm.
What made these decisions more significant than others, of course, was that they had gone in favour of Celtic and not Ibrox.
What made one of them especially crucial is that it had been a match-winning goal.
A manager claimed that the referee, not our superior football, had cost his team the game.
He has not been offered a wee chat with the beaks followed by a suspension; no, his conspiracy theory was indulged. The head of referees sought to offer public assurances instead of hand-waiving it the way other suggestions of bias have been.
And I suppose this is a kind of progress. If decisions are now being explained, publicly, and referees are being held to account then great, we’re all for it on this side of the trenches because we’ve been publicly calling for it for years now.
Great, fine, and about time too.
That being said, then, Celtic fans will be looking forward to this week’s update from the head of referees, the one that explains just why Butcher stayed on the pitch today, the one that explains why the red card wasn’t shown in the first place, or why the second yellow didn’t follow later on.
Our manager won’t stamp his feet about it, the media won’t make a song and dance about it but when even the village idiot knows what it was then the whistler shouldn’t be leaving that player on the pitch, and it’s really just as simple as that.
In the interests of our new era of transparency, let’s hear what the SFA has to say.
Why am I not going to hold my breath though?